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Six Degrees of Social InfluenceScience, Application, and the Psychology of Robert Cialdini$
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Douglas T. Kenrick, Noah J. Goldstein, and Sanford L. Braver

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199743056

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199743056.001.0001

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Basic, Applied, and Full-Cycle Social Psychology

Basic, Applied, and Full-Cycle Social Psychology

Enhancing Causal Generalization and Impact

(p.119) Chapter 12 Basic, Applied, and Full-Cycle Social Psychology
Six Degrees of Social Influence

Stephen G. West

William G. Graziano

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the tension between basic and applied research and how Robert Cialdini's full-cycle model of social psychology can bridge the gap between the two disciplines. In particular, it considers some alternatives to laboratory experiments that can allow researchers to draw relatively strong causal inferences about questions that would otherwise be impossible to study in the typical experiment. It also discusses the strengths and weaknesses of some research tools and concludes by outlining three interrelated problems associated with basic research: the determinants of social behavior and the underlying processes studied in the laboratory by basic social psychologists may not be particularly important in real life; the laboratory's unique environment and participants' awareness of serving as a research “subject” may introduce other processes that can prevent a fuller understanding of causal effects; features of the experimental situation may not be representative of the real world and preclude generalization.

Keywords:   basic research, applied research, Robert Cialdini, full-cycle model, social psychology, laboratory experiments, causal inferences, social behavior, causal effects

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